Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sunshine State News: 'Charlie Can't Even Get a 'Pants on Fire' for the Phony Rothstein Connection?'

On the Sunshine State News website, opinion writer Nancy Smith asks what party-switching Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist needs to do to earn a "Pants on Fire" rating from PolitiFact:
The Crist ad that claims  the governor "teamed up with a felon convicted of running a Ponzi scheme to smear Charlie Crist" is grudgingly rated "false." 

What does this new Democratic Party darling have to do to show he's not only rewriting his own life as he goes along, but he's making up Rick Scott's, too?
Smith's criticism of this Crist rating from PolitiFact Florida quickly widens in scope:
I often feel my temperature rise reading the Times-Herald because these folks never admit to bias and probably never will. But by no means am I the only one to cite PolitiFact for "ranting and rating." The Internet is alight with websites trying hard to tell the real story and keep the Tampa Bay newspaper (now the Times-Herald) honest.

Check out It claims to be the work of "independent bloggers who share a sense of outrage that PolitiFact often peddles outrageous slant as objective news."
We thank Smith for noticing our work, and Jeff appreciates the likely hat tip to his classic work "Ranting and Rating: Why PolitiFact's Numbers Don't Add Up."

Yes, it's hard, though not impossible, for a Democrat to earn a "Pants on Fire" rating from PolitiFact Florida. Charlie Crist got one when he was a Republican, back in 2009, and he got another the next year after switching to Independent. But since turning Democrat in 2012 the "False" rating Smith notes is Crist's worst run-in with Florida's journalistic arbiters of truth.

That's to be expected, of course, when combining an ideological slant with a subjective rating system. The difference between a "False" and a "Pants on Fire" on PolitiFact's scale consists of the judgment that the latter claims are "ridiculous."

How PolitiFact objectively measures ridiculousness is anyone's guess. And until PolitiFact announces its objective criteria for utilizing the rating, we'll go right on using it as one measure of PolitiFact's ideological bias.

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